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Monkey Helpline starts petition to regulate airguns

Durban – THE Monkey Helpline has started a petition to regulate ownership and possession of airguns because of the number of animal deaths they cause.

Monkey Helpline founder Steve Smit said they rescued in excess of 1 000 vervet monkeys annually, close to 100 a month.

Injuries range from broken bones, head trauma, massive tissue damage, blindness, life-threatening bite wounds, poisoning, burns and more.

These injuries are caused by dog bites, being run over by motor cars, shot with lead or steel pellets from air guns, electrocution on non-insulated, high-voltage power lines and transformers, and being trapped or snared.

“More than 80% of the monkeys rescued have lead or steel airgun pellets in various parts of their bodies,” Smit said.